The first guest for the 2020/21 Lyceum Series is award winning science fiction novelist and editor, Sheree Renée Thomas. The pride of Memphis, Thomas lives in and hails from Orange Mound. Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and Mississippi Delta conjure. Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 2020) is her fiction debut. She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press July 2016), longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and honored with a Publishers Weekly Starred Review and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct January 2011). She edited the World Fantasy-winning groundbreaking black speculative fiction anthologies, Dark Matter (2000 and 2004) and is the first to introduce W.E.B. Du Bois’s science fiction short stories. Her work is widely anthologized and appears in The Big Book of Modern Fantasy edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Vintage, 2020). She is the Associate Editor of the historic Black arts literary journal, Obsidian. She was recently honored as a 2020 World Fantasy Award Finalist in the Special Award – Professional category for contributions to the genre.